Possible new dog park still in the works

September 23, 2016
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Since the tightening of off-leash restrictions for dogs at Beecher Street Park, City Councilor Matt O’Malley and dog owners in Jamaica Plain have been working to establish a legal dog park somewhere in the Southwest Corridor Park.

O’Malley, who has voiced his support for a dog park previously, is working with state Department of Conservation (DCR) to establish the park. O’Malley met with DCR Commissioner Leo Roy on Sept. 1 to discuss how best to provide the residents of Jamaica Plain with a suitable location for dog owners and their animal companions.

The meeting went “very well,” according to O’Malley.

“I reiterated our support to identify a location and begin the process of getting an off-leash dog park in the Southwest Corridor, and the commissioner was very supportive,” he said.

The process will likely include a series of public meetings on possible locations for a new dog park in the greater JP area.

DCR is reportedly doing an assessment of its sites, and will be touching base with O’Malley soon.

O’Malley also said that he spoke with Gov. Charlie Baker at an event and asked him about the establishment of a dog park. O’Malley said that the governor seemed receptive. The Governor’s Office did not respond to a Gazette inquiry regarding the matter.

Meanwhile, the Parkland Management Advisory Committee (PMAC) has had meetings discussing possible dog park locations. Some possible locations that were mentioned in a Stonybrook Neighborhood Association forum were at Amory Street between Boylston Street and New Minton Street; between Oakdale Street and the tracks; the corner of Washington Street and Arborway; where Atherton Street crosses the tracks; and Williams Street over the tracks near English High School.

Jennifer Leonard, co-chair of PMAC, said that the committee is very supportive of a dog park in the Southwest Corridor.

“In an ideal world, there would be multiple locations for dog owners to take their pets,” she said.

A moveon.org petition started by JP dog owner Eva Kaniasty is also being circulated online to show support for a potential dog park at the Southwest Corridor. The petition met its original signature goal, and the goal has since been increased to 750. As of the Gazette deadline, it has 530 signatures. For more information, visit bit.ly/2bcQ2uZ.

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